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Preferred Name Change

Wittenberg University recognizes that many members of our community prefer to use first names other than their legal names to identify themselves. The University is committed to using the preferred first names of individuals in our community wherever possible.

By submitting the Preferred Name Change form, I understand that:

The Preferred First Name replaces the Legal First Name in the following systems:

  • Campus Directory
  • Class Roster
  • Email Display Name

Student’s legal name will remain unchanged in all other University related systems, including the student view in MyWitt.

Submission Deadlines

There is no deadline to submit the Preferred First Name request. Once submitted, the request will be processed immediately.

Students are encouraged to notify their professors and other staff that may need to know about their preferred first name being updated and to also check their Witt email accounts for important messages from Wittenberg. 

Note: Preferred First Names will not be used in cases where the legal name is required, including but not limited to, financial aid documents, official transcripts, payroll records, Witt ID, and federal immigration documents.

Click Here To Complete Form

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is a preferred first name? 

A: A preferred name is a first name (i.e. given name) that may be chosen to be used instead of the legal first name. Students may opt to go by a preferred name that is different from their legal first name. 

Q: Why do we offer a preferred name option? 

A: Wittenberg University recognizes that many members of our community prefer to use first names other than their legal names to identify themselves. The University is committed to using the preferred first names of individuals in our community wherever possible. 

Q: What is the difference between preferred and legal name? 

A: Your legal name is the name that is listed on all government issued identification, your birth certificate, and/or associated with your social security or tax ID number. A preferred name is a first name used by a student that is different than their legal or given name. A student may use a preferred name for a variety of reasons. Preferred names are used internally to Wittenberg University and in place of their legal first name whenever possible. The preferred name is designated with Wittenberg University and does not change your legal or given name. 

Q: Will my preferred name be used on my Witt ID? 

A: You may opt in to receive a new Witt ID. Using your preferred name on your Witt ID will result in not being able to use the banking function of the card because the names will not match with your government or state issued ID. 

Q: Will my preferred name be reviewed by anyone? 

A: Yes, student requests will be reviewed by the Assistant Dean of Students for Diversity & Inclusion. The University reserves the right to deny a Preferred Name request if it contains inappropriate or offensive language. Preferred Names may not be used for purposes of fraud or misrepresentation. Individuals found to have abused the preferred name service may be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with the appropriate University handbook. 

Q: Where will my preferred name appear? 

A: The Preferred Name replaces the Legal First Name in the following systems: 

  • Campus Directory 
  • Class Roster 
  • Email Display Name 

Q: Can I limit the places in which my preferred name is used? 

A: Once you have completed the Preferred Name Change Form and it has been reviewed and approved, your preferred name will appear in all noted systems. We are not able to limit which systems or applications will use the Preferred Name field. 

Q: Can I change my preferred name back to my legal name at a later date? 

A: Yes, if you would like to revert to your legal name please submit your request via the Preferred Name Change Request. Once the request has been reviewed and approved your legal name will replace your Preferred Name. 

Q: Who do I contact with concerns about my preferred name? 

A: All Preferred Name Change requests for students are managed and maintained by the Assistant Dean of Students for Diversity & Inclusion. This includes request review and approval. For concerns regarding the Preferred Name Change Form and approvals, please contact the Assistant Dean of Students for Diversity & Inclusion at 937-327-7803.

Q: What are the submission deadlines for Preferred Name Changes?

A: The Preferred Name Change process is on-going. Once the request has been reviewed and approved, the appropriate University officials will be notified of the change so your account can be updated. It is NOT the responsibility of the Assistant Dean of Students for Diversity & Inclusion or any other University staff person to notify the faculty of this change. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure their professors are aware of the process being approved and that their Preferred Name is being used.

Click Here To Read Official Wittenberg Preferred Name Change Policy

Adapted from Georgia State University, Office of the Registrar

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